The Washington Post reported this morning that,
In his second reversal of a Bush administration decision, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that he is scrapping leases for oil-shale development on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
Salazar rescinded a lease offer made last month for research, development and demonstration projects that could have led to oil-shale exploration on 1.9 million acres in the three states.
It was the second time Salazar has reversed the Bush administration. He also halted the leasing of oil and gas drilling parcels near national parks in Utah this month.
At least the oil and gas producers had the courage to speak up:
“It’s part of a pattern of decisions by the secretary that are detrimental to all sources of domestic energy,” said Kathleen Sgamma, government affairs director for the Denver-based Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States.
In a media release, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar said,
“We need to push forward aggressively with research, development and demonstration of oil shale technologies to see if we can find a safe and economically viable way to unlock these resources on a commercial scale. The research, development, and demonstration leases we will offer can help answer critical questions about oil shale, including about the viability of emerging technologies on a commercial scale, how much water and power would be required, and what impact commercial development would have on land, water, wildlife, and communities.”
Despite the Obama administration’s apparent openness to drilling, rest assured that last bit about “impact” on “land, water, wildlife, and communities” is code for “Don’t worry fellow greens. We’ll make sure that oil shale never happens.”